Virginia took its next step to clean up the Chesapeake Bay on Friday when it submitted its revised cleanup plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The revised plan seeks to decrease runoff pollution from land during rainfall that runs out of sewage plants or washes off farm fields, just to name two point sources of pollution.
According to Ann Jennings, Virginia director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the plan needs more specifics that are supported at the state level.
The lack of specifics isn’t surprising given the McDonnell administration’s antagonistic relationship to the EPA regarding the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan in particular.
In a more general sense, the lack of concrete goals and clear state-level support for environmental projects is a mainstay of Virginia’s current Republican body of politicians.
Nevertheless, understanding the importance of environmental conservation and the political benefits that accompany it, Republican political figures in Virginia have paid lip service to the idea of conservation while avoiding any substantive moves to promote environmental conservation in a sustainable way.
That is, Republican politicians in Virginia like Gov. McDonnell have attempted to score political points for promoting green policies that are less than certain in their goals and long-term financial support.
It is supremely unfortunate that such a clear cut issue like the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay has been bogged down by the politics of our day (and many days before!).
Virginians must therefore keep pushing to set a precedent in Virginia: conservation of our historic sites and places will not be sacrificed to parochial political considerations either now or in the future. It’s time for Virginia’s leaders to finally do the right thing and restore the bay.